Why do people fly fish, and what separates fly fishing as a whole different category of fishing? Most anglers start off with a spinning reel, which is a great introduction to the world of fishing. However, as anglers grow and learn in the sport of fishing, they begin to explore other techniques that provide a slightly different types of experience.
Traditional fishing may involve casting a baited hook and waiting for a fish to bite or casting and retrieving a lure. Fly fishing in a stream or river involves fly casting repeatedly with brief pauses to allow the fly to float in the current. It is a finesse style of fishing that takes much practice to perfect. Fly fishing is often seen as an art form, and as such comes with a whole new understanding scope of respect for nature.
So what exactly are the differences, and what elevates a gear fisherman to transition into fly fishing?
When it comes to practicalities, there are a few key differences:
Apart from the practical differences, fly fishing is often labeled as the purer form of fishing. That is because it requires patience, skills and craftsmanship alongside understanding of the natural habitats of the species you plan to target. Fly fishing encompasses you to be a true master of your environment, knowing what bugs are in season, where fish are holding and their feeding habits. The flies themselves are a work of art, by carefully collecting feathers and materials, fishermen are able to create flies that represent what fish naturally feeding on.
Fly fishing is more challenging technically, than the conventional methods. Are you able to create a fly that entices fish? Can you successfully cast your fly exactly to where the fish are feeding? Are you able to connect with the fish and successfully land the fish, while at the same time managing your line, reel and rod.
All this is why you see romantic stories and movies told around the art of flyfishing, like A River Runs Through It. It’s just a more poetic and artful form of the sport of fishing.
Now that we know the why, lets get into the how!